Lesson Plan

Who Am I? (A lesson on animals and their habitats)

A black bear walks on a gravel shoreline next to a body of water

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Science
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes
Additional Standards:
Next Generation Science Standards: 3-LS4-2., 2-LS4-1.

Essential Question

What animals live in Yellowstone National Park?


Research a Yellowstone animal and describe its characteristics.
Identify a variety of animals by their characteristics.


The diversity of animals within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is tremendous. When students visit the park, they will see wildlife diversity at its best. The extent of wildlife diversity is due in part to the different habitats found in the region, ranging from high alpine areas to sagebrush country and including hydrothermal areas, forests, meadows, and other habitat types. All of these habitats are connected in various ways, including linkages provided by streams and rivers that course through the changing elevations of Yellowstone.


Internet/library reference materials, examples of animal profiles, blank 5” X 8” cards. 




  1. Discuss Yellowstone's wildlife with students. This discussion should include the relationships of climate, topography, and vegetation to the diversity of wildlife.
  2. Have each student select one Yellowstone animal species and tell them to keep the species a secret from their classmates.
  3. Have each student prepare an Animal Profile Card. To assist students, share specific examples of animal profiles. Instruct students to offer characteristics of the species from the animal's perspective—in first person. Students design their Animal Profile Cards so the most general information about the animal is listed first and leads to specific characteristics listed at the end.
  4. Ask students to draw the profile of the animal on the back of the card or write the name.
  5. Collect all the Animal Profile Cards and read them aloud to the class. Have students guess the animal described. Show the profile. How many students identified the animal? Discuss the animal, its behavior, physical characteristics, habitat, and history in the park. Do the students have anything to add?  


adaptation, climate, diversity, habitat, species, topography, vegetation

Assessment Materials

Did the student research and find true facts about their animal?
Did the student complete an Animal Profile Card?
Did the student participate in class discussions? 

Enrichment Activities

This lesson plan increases student knowledge of Yellowstone Animals. 

Students could research their chosen animals over an extended period of time after the activity creating informational posters or reports. 

Additional Resources

The annually published Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook provides a wide variety of additional information on Yellowstone’s natural as well as cultural resources. It can be found at https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/resourceandissues.htm 

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Last updated: March 7, 2019